…is something I am likely to say to my children when they go and take part in new venture, when I am worried about the company they might keep, when I am concerned for their safety. Most of us have either been on the giving or receiving end of such advice.
God was just as concerned for his people as they entered a new phase of life. Joshua is about to pass on to glory. New leadership, new experiences, new challenges await. Joshua 23:11-13
Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you.
There it is, be very careful to love the Lord your God. In each new situation you have to develop patterns, habits, routines that ensure you love God first. Joshua had led the people into a place of God’s abundance and yet still they had failed to see it, failed to take hold of it. The book of Joshua is full of such instances. This is Joshua 16:10,
However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.
Loving God requires determination to conquer the enemies of our walk with him. Where have you stopped fighting? Are there places unconquered in all God has called you to?